Tuesday, March 31, 2015

1 Xmas Item a Month March 2015 Finish


This month, I combined my Tree Bird Blog Hop project and my 1 Xmas Item a Month project by making this tote bag.


I used this tutorial on Pinterest, but crazy quilted the pocket.

I hoped to make a second gift this month, but spent most of my time working on my Santa and the Mouse Ornament. (I will have more progress to share in tomorrow's WIP Wednesday post.)


However, I did make a bit of progress on one other project. I stitched this pattern from the book Alma Lynne's Country Cross-Stitch more than 10 years ago. Talk about a UFO! 

I tried to make a wall hanging with it for my husband for Christmas, but had no idea what I was doing and it just did not work out. (Picture ruffles that caught in the seams on all four corners before turning it right-side-out. Ugh.) 

I finally pulled all of the seams out. The new plan is to make a crazy quilted Christmas stocking for my husband to use this year, using this cross-stitch as a central piece. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

WIP Wednesday 03/25/2015


It has been another fun, yet crazy busy week! (Is it really almost April?!) We celebrated the 50th Wedding Anniversary of some dear family friends and had a family celebration of Monkey's 18th birthday. (Monkey is my eldest son's nickname.)

This week, I managed to add over 450 x-stitches to my HAED Santa and the Mouse Ornament. I realized my 100 stitches a week goal would complete the project in October of 2016. To finish by mid-December, I would need roughly 220 stitches a week. So, I am aiming for a minimum of 250/week from here on out. (You may click any photo for a larger image.)

As you can see by comparing this section this week (above) from this section last week (below), I have added to Santa's face, hat and the window.

I do hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Hugs,
Renee

MY GOALS:
Last Week's Goals:
1. Complete 100 x-stitches on the HAED Santa & the Mouse chart (which is no longer available, but it is a part of this chart at Heaven and Earth Designs.) Completed over 450 x-stitches as seen above. Here is my progress from the past 4 weeks:

2. Finish Nicki Lee's UTS DYB RR Block & mail it out. Done! If you missed the post, you may see it here
Under the Sea Crazy Quilt Block
3. Work on an item fomy Etsy shop. I made a bit of progress on a coin purse.

4. Work on a block requested in exchange for my son's senior pictures. Here is a peek:

5. Work on Beginner's Crazy Quilt Block. I have been adding beads and still have several to go.


6. Begin an outline for the novel I will be working on during Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I have been reading Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and have planned the first chapter. That counts, right?!

This Week's Goals:
1. Complete 250 x-stitches on the HAED Santa & the Mouse chart (which is no longer available, but it is a part of this chart at Heaven and Earth Designs.) 
2. Work on an item fomy Etsy shop. 
3. Work on a block requested in exchange for my son's senior pictures.
4. Finish Beginner's Crazy Quilt Block.
5. Work on outline for the novel I will be working on during Camp NaNoWriMo in April and update story info on their site.
6. Create a gift to share at 1xmasitemamonth.blogspot.com.
7. Work on project for the Have a Latte Blog Hop. (I love this Clothworks fabric line!)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop Day 7


TREE BIRD BLOG HOP DAY 7
It is the last day of the Tree Bird Blog Hop. 
I just love this idea from Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt
and cheered on by Lana at It Seams to be Sew.

Through this blog hop, I have discovered so many wonderful blogs and the beautiful lines of fabric at Elizabeth's Studio.

I hope you will hop over to visit today's presenters.

DAY 7 - Monday, March 23rd

Saturday, March 21, 2015

CQI Under the Sea Round Robin - Nicki Lee's Completed Block


Nicki Lee's Crazy Quilting International Under the Sea Round Robin (CQI UTS RR) block was so much fun to work on! 


Just look at the lovely fabrics she used!


I do wish the change in colors on this variegated size 5 perle cotton had been more frequent. I had hoped each arm would show some color contrast. However, I still had fun with the woven picot stitch and the French knot center.


This section was so much fun! 
I lightly sketched in 3 curvy lines on the muslin backing and followed those lines with fly stitches and 2 strands of variegated floss.


Cloud filling stitches made a fun net. 
The fish were created with chain stitches and straight stitches.


My favorite way to make jellies is still using one of these clear buttons and couching down metallic white DMC floss.


The purple coral was created with lots and lots of tiny French Knots. 
Whipped wheels and bullion stitches make wonderful sea stars.  
And, I believe the idea of the snail was inspired by 
Kathy Shaw's free Beginning Crazy Quilt Class.
(Registration for the next Beginner's class opened yesterday and closes tomorrow, March 22nd. You may find more details, or sign up here.)


Nicki Lee loves mermaids and sea horses, 
so I had to add one or the other to this block! 
Before I made my first stitch on this block, 
I found a place to add this little fellow. 
I traced him (in pencil) on the muslin back of the block. 
Next, I outlined the traced lines with a split stitch. 
 Using a satin stitch and a single strand of floss, I filled in each section.

I do hope Nicki Lee is happy with her block! 
I had so much fun working on it.
Today, her blocks will begin their journey from Oregon to Maryland.

Thank you for stopping by!
Renee



Friday, March 20, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop Day 6


TREE BIRD BLOG HOP DAY 6 (of 7)
It is Day 6 of the Tree Bird Blog Hop. 
I just love this idea from Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt
and cheered on by Lana at It Seams to be Sew.

Yesterday, two of the blog hop participants had blogging issues. The scheduled post did not actually post at Sew Many Yarns, but it is up now. And Super Mom - No Cape! did some sleuthing and made some changes so readers can leave comments now. 

I hope you will hop over to visit today's presenters.

DAY 6 - Friday, March 20th

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Late WIP Wednesday 03/18/2015 and Tree Bird Blog Hop Day 5


This has been another incredibly busy week! We celebrated a birthday, hosted a cast party, and our boys performed in a play on Friday and Saturday. In spite of our hectic schedule (we were also out of town a couple of days), I did manage to get some stitching done.



Above is a picture of the segment of the Freebie Santa and the Mouse Ornament that I worked on over the week. I filled in a bit more of the sky and more of Santa's face. Below is a picture of how it looked last week.



TREE BIRD BLOG HOP DAY 5
It is Day 5 of the Tree Bird Blog Hop.
I just love this idea from Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt
and cheered on by Lana at It Seams to be Sew.

I hope you will hop over to visit today's presenters.

DAY 5 - Thursday, March 19


MY GOALS:
Last Week's Goals:
1. Complete 100 x-stitches on the HAED Santa & the Mouse chart (which is no longer available, but it is a part of this chart at Heaven and Earth Designs.) Done! Added over 150 x-stitches as seen in photos above.
2. Finish Nicki Lee's UTS DYB RR Block. Almost! It should go out in Friday's mail. Here is another tiny sneak peek.

3. Work on an item fomy Etsy shop. 
4. Work on a block requested in exchange for my son's senior pictures.
5. Work on Beginner's Crazy Quilt Block.
6. Share my Tree Bird Blog Hop projects on March 18th. I just love seeing all of the creative projects in this blog hop! My post is here if you missed it.

7. Host a cast party after my boys' play this weekend. (It is hard to believe this will be Monkey's last performance in a high school play.) There is a story to tell here... Somehow, my husband managed to become a bit of a thespian this weekend too. At the end of the play on Friday night, my husband was the random person pulled from the audience to be treated as a suspect. It was absolutely hilarious. On Saturday, one of the cast members could not make it to the play. When he heard they might have to cut the part, my husband volunteered to fill the role. I missed his performance (as I was preparing our home for a cast party with 20 teenagers), but I heard he did a great job - even with only 4 hours to learn his part. He said he messed his lines up once, but my boys declared only the cast could have noticed. (I happen to think my husband is a pretty neat guy.) This was my eldest son's last high school play and it was incredibly memorable.

This Week's Goals:
1. Complete 100 x-stitches on the HAED Santa & the Mouse chart (which is no longer available, but it is a part of this chart at Heaven and Earth Designs.) 
2. Finish Nicki Lee's UTS DYB RR Block & mail it out.
3. Work on an item fomy Etsy shop. 
4. Work on a block requested in exchange for my son's senior pictures.
5. Work on Beginner's Crazy Quilt Block.
6. Begin an outline for the novel I will be working on during Camp NaNoWriMo in April. 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop Day 4

Neighborhood cat on our birdhouse
Welcome to Day 4 of the Tree Bird Blog Hop!



I want to thank Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt for offering this wonderful blog hop!
Lana at It Seams to be Sew has been our amazing cheerleader.

I just fell in love with the Beautiful Birds fabric line at Elizabeth's Studio and designed by Tracy Lizotte
(I also discovered the Carolina Cotton Company searching for these fabrics on-line I ordered through their Etsy shop, but they offer a 20% discount to first time customers at their website.)

Draft Catcher made with tutorial at katydiddys.blogspot.com
My first project was a draft catcher. It was created using this tutorial from katydiddys.blogspot.com. 


I added a handle so it may be hung out of the way 
when our back door is in use.


The next project was a lot of fun to create. I found this free tote tutorial by Dianne Prather at mamaspocketbook.com and thought it would be the perfect way to display these lovely fabrics.
(The brown fabric used for the straps and interior of the bag was purchased at JoAnn Fabric. It seemed too perfect to pass up.)


If you follow my blog, you know my true passion is crazy quilting. 
So, I pieced the pocket.


I framed the birdhouse panel with a stem stitched twiggy vine 
and silk ribbon leaves.

Tiny details were also added, like the little blue bird looking over a nest full of eggs.



A tiny spider dangling from its web.


Swarovski Crystal Elements Butterfly Beads.


And an embroidered butterfly. 


I may have missed it, but in the tutorial for this tote, I was unable to find anything stating where to place the pocket and straps.  This made me more than a little nervous, but I used the photo in the tutorial as a guide and centered the pocket roughly 2-inches from the top, and I placed the straps so that their outer edges lined up with the pocket edges.


I was absolutely delighted with the way this little tote turned out!
Even the back is lovely. 


The tote is perfectly sized for a book bag.


These fabrics were SEW much fun to work with and they left me very ready for spring.


The birds are already very active in our backyard 
and we are hoping more will move into the birdhouses 
a dear family friend made for us several years ago.

As you may have noticed in the first photo on this post, we have a neighborhood cat that may be hoping the birds move in again, too. 
Last June, I could hear the birds going crazy in the backyard. 
Before I could check it out, my husband called me from our driveway and told me to look out the back window. 
Three panicked swallows were frantically trying to figure out how to get to the babies in the birdhouse that our neighborhood cat perched upon. 
Luckily, he was camera shy, so I only had to take his picture and he opted to leave the poor birds in peace.

Thank you so much for stopping by! 
I hope you will hop on over to visit the other bloggers posting today.

DAY 4, March 18, 2015
Living My Dream - You are here


Tree Bird Blog Hop Day 3


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It is Day 3 of the Tree Bird Blog Hop.
I just love this idea from Madame Samm at Sew We Quilt
and cheered on by Lana at It Seams to be Sew.

I hope you will hop over to visit today's presenters.

DAY 3 - Tuesday, March 17



Monday, March 16, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop Day 2


Today is Day 2 of the Tree Bird Blog Hop!
I want to thank Madame Samm of Sew We Quilt for coming up with this great blog hop idea!
And a big thank you to Lana at It Seams to be Sew for cheering us on.
For this hop, you will find photos of projects that wowed us each day at It Seams to be Sew.

I do hope you will hop over to these blogs and cheer them on.

DAY 2 - Monday, March 16

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Problems with Comments

During the Grow Your Blog Party, I discovered some readers were unable to comment on my blog because I had selected the "Embedded" option for comments.  

So, I changed my settings for comments to "Full Page." 

Since that time, I have had several readers email me to let me know they could no longer leave comments.  Luckily, one reader also mentioned she uses Bloglovin' to follow my posts. 

After spending a morning trying to figure out what was up with Blogger and comments on my blog, I finally thought to search for issues leaving comments with Bloglovin'.  Low and behold, I discovered blog comments must be set at either "Embedded" (which I know does not work for some readers) or "Pop Up Window" for Bloglovin' followers to leave comments.

So, I am changing my settings to "Pop Up Window" and hoping this will solve the problem.

As for Bloglovin, I know I sometimes have to type in the actual URL for a blog I am following to post a comment, because I cannot leave comments OR because the box you can click to follow comments (to read replies from bloggers that reply to comments through their blog) does not consistently show up.  Other times, I have to right click the "comment" button and select the option to "open link in new tab." I have thought about switching to another blog reader to see if this might be easier.

If you are suddenly unable to leave a comment with the new changes, I do hope you will contact me to let me know at: neeorama at gmail dot com.

Thank you for your patience!
Renee

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop Day 1


It is Friday the 13th!
The Tree Bird Blog Hop begins today.
I hope you join me by hopping over to visit today's blogs!

DAY ONE
It Seams To Be Sew (Lana - our amazing cheerleader!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WIP Wednesday 03/11/2015

HAED Freebie Santa and the Mouse Ornament Progress:


What a quick and busy week! Wednesday crept up on me.

I did manage over 150 cross stitches on the Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) Santa and the Mouse Ornament. (This free design is no longer offered, but it is a portion of this larger HAED Santa and the Mouse chart.)



This week's progress was not in one cluster, so it is not easy to see where I made progress. Stitches were added to Santa's face, hat and to the night sky viewed through the window.  Above is a close-up of how this section looks now. Below is a picture of this section last week.



There was not a lot of time to work on my crafty goals this week. However, I did finally paint our guest bathroom. We had a wonderful time hosting our in-laws and family friends for dinner and an evening of Pinochle on Saturday, and we celebrated my husband's grandfather's 97th birthday on Sunday.


Notes of Interest:

1. There is a new Spring Crazy Quilt Challenge Kit available at crazyquiltingsupplies.com. The kit is $35.00 and the prizes look amazing! (I am not affiliated with the shop.) For more details, click the link to the kit.

2. Thanks to MA at Magpie's Mumblings, I learned about Through Our Hands, a magazine loaded with textile artwork. I enjoyed looking through it! (And, if you love eye candy, you may also want to check out this work of beauty MA recently completed.)

3. The Tree Bird Blog Hop at sewwequilt.com will begin on Friday the 13th! (My day to share will be Wednesday, March 18th. Next week, my WIP Wednesday post will actually be shared on Thursday.) Our cheerleader, Lana, has posted the complete schedule on her blog, It Seams to be Sew.

4. May 1st is the deadline to submit crazy quilt photos and/or tutorials for the Autumn 2015 edition of the Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine. You may find more details here at Pamela Kellogg's blog, Kitty and Me Designs. 

5. If you love Pinterest, this may appeal to you. Diane at A Focused Journey has started a monthly Stop Pinning and Make Something Link Party. The rules are here and the post to link to in March is here.

6. The Have a Latte Blog Hop at sewwequilt.com is about a month away. A recent post by our cheerleader, Joan at Moosestash Quilting, indicates there are still a few slots open. Details may be found here if you want to join the fun with these fun Clothworks fabrics designed by Dan DiPaolo.

MY GOALS:

Last Week's Goals:

1. Complete at least 150 x-stitches on the HAED Santa and the Mouse chart. Done. See pictures above.

2. Work on Nicki Lee's UTS DYB RR Block. The basic seam work is done. Here is a sneak peek. 

3. Work on an item fomy Etsy shop. Sigh... No progress. I do have a hard time with the idea of selling my work. Today, a lady at the store asked me if I made my purse and then eagerly asked if I make and sell them. It was sweet, but I was horribly embarrassed and shy. I believe it is safe to say my discomfort with the idea of selling my work may be hindering progress with this goal...

4. Work on a block requested in exchange for my son's senior pictures. Not yet! On Saturday, I did receive the perfect shade of blue perle cotton in an order from crazyquiltingsupplies.com, so it is time to dive in!

5. Work on Beginner's Crazy Quilt Block. Sadly, I did not make progress this week. Our dinner guests loved the block though! (I highly recommended the free class through shawkl.com; however, I do not think any of the ladies plan to take up crazy quilting at this time.)

This Week's Goals:

1. Complete 100 x-stitches on the HAED Santa & the Mouse chart.
2. Finish Nicki Lee's UTS DYB RR Block.
3. Work on an item fomy Etsy shop. 
4. Work on a block requested in exchange for my son's senior pictures.
5. Work on Beginner's Crazy Quilt Block.
6. Share my Tree Bird Blog Hop projects on March 18th.
7. Host a cast party after my boys' play this weekend. (It is hard to believe this will be Monkey's last performance in a high school play.)